Family parties are quite the event these days. With 16 cousins, 8 great grandkids, aunts, uncles, great grandmas and great aunts filling the room, plus an infinite number of family friends and their vans of children, there is always someone to catch up with. The little kids have a blast running around kicking balls and playing chase. It’s getting easier for me to release my lil guys into a sea of family, knowing they are entertained and safe.

Tonight, as I settled into a conversation with my aunts, I feel Noah begin to climb onto my lap. I welcome him up yet carry on with my conversation. Clearly unimpressed with his lack of full attention, Noah gently kneels on my legs, takes my cheeks in his tiny 2 year old hands, looks me in the eye and beckons in a barely audible voice, “Mama, you cuddle me for a couple minutes?”

Suddenly the chaos of the party is silenced. It’s just Noah and I. My cheeks in his hands. Nothing else in this world matters. I plant a kiss on his perfect little face and squeeze him with all of my love.  Noah rests his head on my shoulder, his fingers gently dance through the ends of my hair. I close my eyes and feel Noah relax in my embrace.

Slowly the laughter of the room returns. Noah sits up, comforted yet not ready to leave my side. I half way return to my conversation, half way remain in my Mama – Noah world of love.

After quite some time has passed Noah returns to his game of chase and I to my adult conversation. Yet I cling to the memory of those cuddles, knowing they won’t last forever.